Richardson’s Forecast: NEC, GoL Must Act Swiftly
THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK so blatantly and because of whom they are, who we know them to be and where they come from, we tend not to take what they say seriously and sometimes, we assume they’re seeking cheap attention.
LAST WEEK, FRONTPAGEAFRICA had an interview with Charles Taylor’s former security advisor, John. T. Richardson. He was quite blunt in saying that Liberia would have an interim government in 2017 due to the Elections Commission financial incapacity to conduct the election. In addition to that he mentioned the vivid disregard of electoral laws in the activities preceding the 2017 elections.
OF COURSE LIBERIANS do not want interim government and as such, Richardson’s forecast will seem like a devilish prophesy.
IN THE INTERVIEW RICHARDSON ASKED, “What is the provision about campaigning? Nobody is supposed to be campaigning now. Can you tell me that no one is campaigning? You are suggesting to me that this is a law but it’s not a law? Is this how we play with ourselves? Are we so ignorant of our own law? Is it that we know them and we refuse to abide by them?”
REFERENCING THE LIBERIAN GOVERNMENT’S recent appeal to the UN for the extension of UNMIL’s mandate by a year and the confession of the government financial inadequacy to hold the election, Richardson questioned whether it was not chaotic for the National Elections Commission to be seemingly doing nothing when it should have been carrying out vigorous voters’ education exercise nationwide.
“BY NOW WE SHOULD BE DOING ALL KINDS of voters’ education, [do] you see anything around you happening that suggests that this is going to take place?” Richardson asked.
HE ALSO QUESTIONED WHETHER THE Liberia National Police which in conjunction with other security agencies assumed full control of national security only six months ago has the logistical ability to make its presence felt in all parts of the country during the election year – a period in which there is tension in almost every quarter.
“YOU’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ONE PSU truck running to Ganta, going to Voinjama, reaching to the southeast, all at the same time. So, we should stop deceiving ourselves. We are misleading ourselves in the wrong direction. We have to stop this. I’ll challenge this government to prove that it is taking us to free, fair elections,” he asked rhetorically.
RICHARDSON’S CONCERNS SHOULD be the concern of every Liberian. We must not let his affiliations cloud our sense of discernment, rather this should be a wakeup call the Government of Liberia and the National Elections Commission as Liberians brace for a historic crucial year.
AS 2017 APPROACHES, LIBERIANS are sitting on the tenterhook eagerly observing how the elections would be handled. It would be necessary to remind those engaged in the work of managing our elections to remember that they would be doing a great service to our country when they attach the utmost sense of commitment to service in the work that they are engaged to do.
IT IS THEREFORE EXTREMELY important that the Sirleaf regime remember that its 12 years of helping Liberia will go down the drain if it does not work audaciously to ensure smooth transfer of power. There is a need to focus more energy towards equipping our police and other security agencies and committing resources to the electoral process.